The National Capital Authority (NCA) manages the Australian Government's continuing interest in the planning, development and enhancement of Canberra as the national capital. Its vision is a national capital which symbolises Australia's heritage, values and aspirations, is internationally recognised, and worthy of pride by Australians.

Policy Statement

In managing recreation on Lake Burley Griffin (the Lake) the NCA will maintain and encourage a range of compatible recreation opportunities consistent with the special characteristics and heritage values of Lake Burley Griffin and adjacent lands.

Lake Burley Griffin Recreation Strategies

  • Promote the characteristics and attributes of Lake Burley Griffin in accordance with its national significance
  • Promote a broad range of recreational uses of Lake Burley Griffin that reflects Australian national life
    Foster commercial opportunities that enhance visitor and community experiences of Lake Burley Griffin
  • Foster sustainable environmental and heritage qualities

Here it is, the centre of recreation. A lake that will give completeness to all the scholastic facilities that exist and will exist in this city. A lake that will complete the amenities of life.

Robert Menzies Speech, Opening of Lake Burley Griffin, 17 October 1964


The Lake Burley Griffin Recreation Policy developed by the NCA:

  • addresses key recreational management issues for Lake Burley Griffin and adjacent lands;
  • establishes the NCA's objectives for the management of water based recreation; and
  • enables the NCA to manage use of the Lake and Adjacent Land in an effective manner that promotes its national significance.

The recreation policy reflects the values and policies of the Lake Burley Griffin and Adjacent Lands Heritage Management Plan 2009 (HMP). The HMP identifies that the Lake possesses outstanding creative, technical and aesthetic heritage values for the nation and outlines a range of values, policies and actions for its future management. For its use and access it stipulates:

  • Providing the public with free and open access to the Lake and foreshores:
  • Encouraging public access to the Lake for a variety of non motorised, water based recreational uses which do not impact on other heritage values
  • Continuing to use the Lake as a stage or setting for large public events (which are temporary and do not impact on other heritage values
  • Providing opportunities for organised and informal community and family gatherings around the Lake

Controlling recreational activities on the Lake to minimise noise and disruption to the water surface, avoiding impacts on the shore and shore users and minimising conflicts with other lake users.

Ensuring the Lake is available and accessible for a range of uses:

  • Managing water quality to enable recreational uses including swimming and boating
  • Retaining current existing points of access to the Lake for recreation (boat ramps and swimming areas)
  • Avoiding the introduction of new uses that require closure of the Lake and foreshores (or parts thereof) to public access i.e. for private or corporate events.

Th Lake Burley Griffin Recreation Policy is available to download here.


Further Information

For further information contact the National Capital Authority on (02) 6271 2888 or email